If Then | News on technology, Silicon Valley, politics, and tech policy

If Then: is a show about technology, society, and power. Each week, Slate‘s April Glaser and Will Oremus take you on a lively tour of the tech news that actually matters, from fake news in your Facebook feed to the algorithms that want your job to the Uber drivers who want a job with benefits. With news-making interviews of key tech-industry figures, fascinating academics, and top tech journalists, they explore not only how the technology that’s shaping our world works, but the ideas, ideologies, incentives, and biases that underlie it. And guess what: They don’t always agree.

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      How a Top Twitter Exec Tackles Trolls


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus is joined by guest co-host Maya Kosoff from Vanity Fair. They discuss the latest Congressional dog and pony show involving the big social media platforms. They’ll get into a controversy over whether Facebook should ban the prominent conspiracy theorist Alex Jones of InfoWars. Meanwhile, there’s a new owner of the title “wealthiest person in modern history.” They’ll talk about who that is and what it says about our economy.
      Later, Will is joined by Vijay...


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         48m
       
       

      The Surveillance State's Eyes at the U.S. Border


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk to Dr. Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a professor of political science and policy at George Mason University and an expert on immigration and security at the U.S.-Mexico border. They discuss how technology contractors benefit from working with the government to carry out its immigration policies — while others suffer from the ever-broadening surveillance state. And they examine the concept of a “virtual border wall,” and what that might loo...


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         32m
       
       

      The Supreme Court in the Cyber Age


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about the Facebook privacy scandal that won’t go away. They’ll also touch on some new data from our employer, Slate, that illustrates how Facebook is pulling back from the news business.
      Then, the hosts will be joined by our colleague Mark Joseph Stern, who covers courts and the law. They’ll discuss some recent tech-related Supreme Court cases, and how the court’s stance toward technology and privacy could change with the retiremen...


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         39m
       
       

      Tech Workers Fight Back


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about the midterm elections coming up in November -- and whether Silicon Valley companies are ready for the deluge of disinformation -- whether from Russia, Macedonia, or right here in the U.S. 
      The hosts are joined by Paige Panter, a product manager in Silicon Valley who is also a volunteer with the Tech Workers Coalition, a group that’s been active since 2014, but more recently has acted as a kind of communications hub for pe...


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         42m
       
       

      Should Tech Companies Take a Stand Against Family Separation?


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser discuss the horrifying story that’s on everyone’s minds this week: the Trump Administration’s policy of separating immigrant families crossing the US Mexico border. They focus on how tech’s big players -- some of the most powerful companies in the world -- are responding to the policy and what we should expect from those companies and their leaders in the face of a humanitarian emergency.
      The hosts also discuss the fallout from AT&T’...


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         29m
       
       

      The Failed Promise of the Gig Economy


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus is joined by guest co-host Maya Kosoff from Vanity Fair. They discuss the electric scooters that are suddenly wreaking havoc on city streets—and why Silicon Valley venture capitalists are swooning over them. They also discuss the layoffs at Tesla, and what they might mean for the electric-car company and its workers. 
      Later, Will is joined by journalist Sarah Kessler of Quartz. Her new book is called “Gigged: The End of the Job and the Future of Wor...


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       2018-06-13  38m
       
       

      Naomi Klein on Disaster Capitalism in Puerto Rico.


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about how Microsoft is buying GitHub, Google is ending its Pentagon contract, and all the news from Apple’s developer conference on Monday—including the company’s effort to engineer a less addictive iPhone.
      April is joined by journalist, author, and activist Naomi Klein to discuss her new book The Battle for Paradise about how corporations and politicians are trying to cash in on the chance to rebuild Puerto Rico following Hurrica...


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       2018-06-06  46m
       
       

      Bloody Money and Blind Investors


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about GDPR, Europe’s sweeping new online privacy legislation that took effect last Friday. They explain why it triggered an avalanche of emails to your inbox, and what it means for the tech industry.
      The hosts are joined by John Carreyrou, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter with the Wall Street Journal. His new book, Bad Blood, chronicles his investigation into Theranos, the now-disgraced blood-testing startup, which so...


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       2018-05-30  41m
       
       

      Google’s Chokehold on the Web


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about about a privacy invasion that’s arguably scarier than Cambridge Analytica, and why it’s not getting nearly the same amount of attention. It involves your cellphone, and its ability to track where you are at all times.
      The hosts are then joined by Luther Lowe, the senior VP of public policy for Yelp, a company that has had some major beef with Google’s allegedly anti-competitive behavior. They’ll talk about how Google got so bi...


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       2018-05-23  41m
       
       

      Welcome to the Swamp


      On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser talk about about an unexpected move by President Trump that could save the Chinese electronics maker ZTE.  Also in the news is Project Maven, a Pentagon project to build AI for drones, which Google has been working on. This week it was reported that around a dozen Google employees quit over the company’s involvement in the project.
      The hosts discuss what one Apple blogger calls “one of the biggest design screwups in Apple history,” ...


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       2018-05-16  52m